Sunday, September 27, 2015

England Day 7 - The Arrival In BATH (er, Bahth..)

When in Bath, do as the Romans did!
(please: pronounce it 'Bahth'..)

It was rather a long haul, but the SconeLady finally made it. The sun shone warmly upon our heads as we hugged our goodbyes.  Climbing aboard, my host kindly lifted my case and shared that if I were to sit on a certain side I could bask in the sun. The train began to move as I settled my gear and waved one final wave Rosie-ward, and then was away.

It was a little surprising how many passengers crammed themselves aboard as we continued toward London. Stop after stop the crowds stood waiting, and then literally leapt in. Oh the bodies - oh the bags - oh the travel paraphernalia! Everywhere, I tell you. Soon we could barely budge. In London there was some kind of snafu about the tubes to Paddington Station, so the other travelers and I dashed from place to place trying to find where we could grab the right one. Agents stood at intervals and quickly barked the correct directions as the crowds ran toward them. It would have been funny if it hadn't been so confusing!

The clot of travelers surrounding me finally discovered the only tube that would connect us, and off we sped to Paddington - arriving 2 minutes before departure time! Hahahaha! (I think).

But I don't mean to drag this out because once I arrived in Bath, everything came up absolute Roses. All travel quirks were forgotten as the creamy, buttery buildings of this city surrounded us and mesmerized us. They were splendid. But as splendid as they all might have been, there was one I had my eye out for just then: Bath Abbey, my favorite of all Cathedrals or Abbeys in this land of plenty.

As I approached it, there was almost a hush in its near vicinity for a young man was sitting in the midst of the square, playing the most beautiful hymns on his guitar. People lined the square, watching and listening. It was as if we were already in church. In fact, I believe we actually were. I did not enter, for that will happen tomorrow when there is time to participate in the tour, and hopefully a service.

The afternoon contained several other wonders:

  • a double decker tour bus of the city of Bath. I sat on top!
  • a double decker tour bus of the surrounding countryside (same)
  • a long walk around the city in order to find the Royal Crescent (utterly awe-some!)
  • a late afternoon Cream Tea (explained below)
  • a long walk back up the hill to the top of the town

I have come to the realization that there really isn't an ugly building in Bath. At least, none that I have seen. Don't you just love the Royal Crescent? (below) We caught a glimpse of it on the tour bus, and later on I followed Siri's directions back to find it. The sun was slanting toward it in such a way that it really practically glowed out at me:

For an iPhone photograph, that looks pretty good don't you think?

Just across from the Crescent was a long, green grassy space where friends and lovers lolled about on this absolutely perfect Sunday afternoon. One had the impression that the Brits grab what moments they can of this good weather. We all did!

Completely by accident we drove over the river and I saw something I did not expect to see. Do you recognize it? Think: Les Miserables:

In the film, Inspector Javert stood there on the bridge above this water feature, and... (well I don't want to say what he did, but it wasn't happy). It was meant to be the River Seine, but the Pulteney Bridge was chosen for the film location. It was fascinating to see this in person.

Now about that Cream Tea - the Patisserie Valerie provided this, and although I have run out of time to describe its deliciousness, I will be sure and do that for you tomorrow!

As this day comes to a close, I think many thankful thoughts. For the wonderful hospitality at friend Rosie's; for the unexpectedly grand weather so far; for the safety and generosity of this new trek; and for the upcoming visit to Bath Abbey, for which I am most thankful in advance.

Oh - and I think there is a Roman Bath somewhere that I will find, and visit! What utter riches!

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

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